Sunday, February 20, 2005

Tango feróz

I was expecting that I'd be writing today about a breastfeeding class because, well, you can just imagine. But despite the fact that there were about 20 expectant mothers -- about 2/3 of them accompanied by us, the dutiful expectant fathers -- the lactation consultant apparently forgot to show up. So instead there were about 20 disgruntled expectant mothers. (Gee, that's smart.) Someone suggested we go upstairs in the Maternity Center to see one of the new mothers try it out herself, but that didn't work. I'll therefore have to reserve comments about seeing other women's breasts in full working mode for another time.

When I got home, I opened up the Washington City Paper and found an ad for a free film screening at the Inter-American Development Bank's new cultural center. On Friday the 25th at 6:30pm, they'll be showing Marcelo Piñeyro's Kamchatka, a fantastic movie from 2002 about two boys and their parents on the run from the government during the "Dirty War" in 1970s Argentina. I saw it in Lima at a film festival two years ago and simply loved it. The critics were divided on it, calling it overly slick: for a couple of people on the run, the parents -- played by easy-on-the-eyes stars Ricardo Darín and Cecilia Roth, most notably from Son of the Bride and All About My Mother respectively -- looked like the most well-kempt, attractive people ever. Indeed, the house they hide out in also doesn't seem to have any dirt in it. Indeed, Piñeyro is known for being a very stylish director; Plata quemada (Burnt Money), for example, opens with the two gay protragonists meeting for sex in the most artistically grimy, dark bathroom one can possibly imagine.

Here's why I think the limeño critics' views are invalid. The whole film is from the perspective of "Harry," the elder son, who is 10. The movie opens with his saying he is going to recount the last two weeks he will ever see his parents alive. (With that, it therefore maintains a sense of dread throughout the whole movie.) If the movie is taken from Harry's point of view, doesn't it make sense that everything is perfect, pretty and wonderful? Isn't it likely that Harry will remember these last moments in a less-than-idyllic way? I found the "perfect" mise-en-scene that surrounds them completely in line with the film's intentions.

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the movie again, if for nothing else to see if I remember all this correctly. Plus, Piñeyro will be there to discuss it afterwards. (I'm such a lucky duck.) Perhaps a good movie to catch the nuances also between father and son. Could I be projecting? Maybe just a bit. Let's just hope Dubya doesn't come after me like the Argentine military junta. Maybe I should play more Risk just in case...

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